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Gulf geyser stops gushing, but will it hold?

Jul 16, 2010 7:13:00 AM - thestate.com
Now the wait begins.

BP finally gained control over one of America's biggest environmental catastrophes by placing a carefully fitted cap over a runaway geyser that has been gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico since early spring. Engineers, politicians and Gulf residents will watch anxiously over the next day and a half to see if it holds.

After nearly three months and up to 184 million gallons, the accomplishment was greeted with hope, high expectations - and, in many cases along the beleaguered coastline, disbelief. But no one was declaring victory just yet.

"It's a great sight," said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, who immediately urged caution. The flow, he said, could resume. "It's far from the finish line. ... It's not the time to celebrate."

Regardless, for the first time since an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers April 20 and unleashed the spill 5,000 feet beneath the water's surface, no oil was flowing into the Gulf.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)